Nearly 1,000 potential jurors are expected to file into the East Baton Rouge Courthouse Monday for jury selection in the second trial involving suspected serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. This one is for the 2002 murder of Charlotte Murray Pace. The presiding judge explains how he plans to deal with the pressures of this high profile case.
Seven and a half years after being elected state district judge, Richard Anderson finds himself presiding over one of the most infamous trials in the history of Baton Rouge, the trial of accused south Louisiana serial killer Derrick Todd Lee. Anderson's instructions are clear when it comes to what evidence can be introduced to the jury.
Anderson has presided over many murder cases where the death penalty was at stake. His low-key courtroom demeanor should have a calming effect on what could be a highly emotional trial.
Anderson has the unpopular task of protecting the constitutional rights of the accused. By law, Derrick Todd Lee is innocent until proven guilty. Anderson says when the trial begins, he knows dozens of reporters will be in the courtroom, but he will not feel any pressure from media scrutiny.
If convicted of first-degree murder in this case, Lee will still face two more trials...one for the attempted rape and attempted murder of a Breaux Bridge woman; the other for the murder of Trineisha Dene Colomb. Prosecutors say the other trials are necessary in case a previous conviction is overturned.
Cheryl Fatzer, TV 10 Eyewitness News